Archives for posts with tag: Gaza

I’ve been fretting.  Fretting about Gaza, Israel, Ferguson, bad white cops, arming black people, traveling, Alcoholics Anonymous.  I’ve been fretting about one beautiful man.

The Alcoholics Anonymous shit is the usual shit.  The same characters, the same stories, the same mental illness.   I sit in those rooms wondering why I’m there, if I belong to a cult?  Yet,  I never think about drinking.  I mean, I’m not looking for an excuse to drink.   That’s the very last thing I want to do.

Palm Trees Los Angeles

You see, it was one of those weeks when I heard that someone in AA killed themselves.  Someone I heard speak, someone I had spoken to.  Someone I had lunch with, someone I had hope for.  Then he blew his brains out.  No obituary, no news report.  Just another recovering alcoholic who couldn’t take it any more.  I thought about how we collectively accept the plaudits for keeping each other sober yet when a man kills himself it was his problem.  His solution.  Never our responsibility.   He had a six-year-old son.  He dressed very well.  Now he’s dead.

Since getting sober 18 years ago I have known many, many men and not so many women to kill themselves in the rooms of AA/NA.   It is never easy.   Yet, I have become desensitized from these terrible deaths and I hate myself for it.  I’m sorry.  I really am.

This week, I ate a great deal at Gjelina in Venice and these men graciously served me.

Benoit being Read to by Armistead Maupin

Last week I drove to San Francisco to see my friend Benoit Denizet Lewis read excerpts from his book Travels With Casey. After the reading we had dinner with Armistead Maupin and his charming boyfriend.  I told Armistead that I hadn’t read his famous book Tales of the City until I got to The Men’s County Jail.  I found a dog eared copy there. It was a first edition.

That night we stayed in an odd 50’s hotel/ex-motel off of trendy Chestnut Street.  The following day we drove to Napa and had lunch with Gene.  After lunch we wandered the giant redwoods in Muir Woods.  On the way back to San Francisco we watched people flying kites on Stinson Beach.

On my way home to Los Angeles I met up with my Whitstable friend Ben Clayton in Berkeley, we ate brunch then  sauntered all over the UC Berkeley campus.  We talked a great deal about home.  We talked about our mothers.

 

Back in Malibu I picked a huge bunch of bananas from the banana trees at the end of the garden, I harvested (and continue to) an abundance of figs and lemons.   I sold the bananas to my friend Nicolle the pie lady at Gjelina who bruleed them.

 

Yesterday, I went to the Norco Rodeo with Stuart Sandford.  Norco is an hour from Los Angeles.  It was the whitest event I have ever been to.  White people everywhere eating nachos and swilling beer.   The men wore cowboy hats.  The women screamed when the obedient bulls tossed their riders into the sand.

 

We wondered if there were other gays there.  The nearest gay on-line was 3 miles away.  I took pictures of cowboys.  I ate tri-tip sandwiches.  I was looking for bucking bronco Cody Gaines who I met the day before on Malibu beach.   Cody lives in Texas.  Cody loves Jesus.

Cody Gaines

Mostly I have been amusing myself in the garden.  I have been sweeping paths and mending lights and restoring order.  The dogs have been lazing all over the house during the day, finding patches of sunlight to flop into.  At night they spend too much time protecting me from deer and raccoons.  Go to sleep!

 

Michael came to visit from NYC.  He was sweet and charming.  I met the guy with a beard… and here’s a better picture of Stuart.  Stuart Sandford is a very fine artist.  He lives and works at the Tom of Finland House in Echo Park.  My friend Martin arrived from Provincetown.  He’s staying for a few days.

 

All in all it hasn’t been a bad month.  It’s just these past few hours.  I needed to sit down and write a gratitude list… and this is it.  You see, I woke up today and I’m not a hounded black teen on the streets of any city USA.  I’m not a hounded Palestinian in the ever shrinking patch of land they call home.  I’m not a fatherless 6 year old… and lastly, I didn’t blow my brains out this week because I couldn’t take it any more… and for that I must be grateful.

Latex Bondage Wear waiting to be washed at The Tom of Finland House

Latex bondage wear ready to be washed from the dungeon at The Tom of Finland House, Echo Park.

1.

I have been listening to Max Richter‘s re imagining of Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons.

Listen to it.

Doesn’t it inspire you?  Inspire you to write or paint or reach out?

I have been re-writing my script.  Tinkering.  It’s all about nuance now.

The balance of power shifting subtly between two lovers.

I saw new pictures of him.  He looks less grotesque.  Like he is finding his own style. Owning his beautiful smile.  Owning it.

It makes me happy to know that he is thriving.  That he is going to make a better job of this than I ever could.

That he will enjoy the benefits of being a young gay man in 2012.

I have been all over the place recently.  High and low.  Good and bad.  Always present.  Never shamed.

At LACMA I was more interested in the spectator than the art.

Some people are art.

I have been in the company of old men in those strange AA rooms.  In basements, church halls, galleries.  Yes, there is an AA meeting in a gallery in Venice.

I like old people because I am in training to be one.  Surround yourself with old people and you might learn to age with dignity.

I like getting old. Watching the lines on my face get deeper.  For those Peter Pan gays amongst you… you’ve got it coming. ha ha ha.

2.

I’m sitting in The Chateau with Elizabeth and a professional gambler.

He’s my age, boasting about the 20-year-old girls he can snare. But he’s not owning it.  He’s not proud.  He’s telling me like he tells his friends that he owns a Water Lily by Monet.

The painting just stares back at him blankly.

It has no value.  She stands at the end of his bed, naked… looking at him blankly.  Wondering what to do.

I re-imagine the grotesque freaks.

3.

I watched in awe as the audacious Israelis, once again, killed Palestinians.

They have not attacked either Lebanon or the people of Gaza since the mid east shape shifting Arab Spring.  Times have changed, time has strengthened the international hand of Hamas.  Making the incredible credible.

So, it came as no surprise when, after a week, a ceasefire was brokered by the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.

It heralds the new order.

Within hours of Hilary Clinton‘s departure from Egypt the new president announced (temporary) extensive new personal powers.  There are popular demonstrations planned in Cairo today.

I railed against Israel on my Facebook page.  In Europe they ‘liked’ my stance, in America they didn’t.

Here their brains are fried by Israeli propaganda.  Pro Palestinian aristocrats in England wrote private notes of support.  Americans urged me to stop my public support of the people of Gaza.

Sneering at pictures of dead Palestinian children.

The temptation is to see the tragic bloodshed in the narrow terms of the Hamas rockets and Israel’s right to self defence.

Israel has that right of course… and it’s worth restating.

This is not just about rockets and self-defence. It’s about 1.3 million Palestinians crowded into a tiny strip of land (or “prison camp” as David Cameron called it), most of whose families were refugees from land now occupied by Israel and who feel that their hopes of a viable Palestinian homeland are further away than ever.

Yes, the Israelis withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but Israel’s continued blockade has strangled Gaza’s economy and only served to encourage the militants.

“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”

~ Noam Chomsky

4.

AA.  It has been a welcome return.  Looking for a sponsor, working out a year of resentments.  Sitting in those rooms with those beautiful boys.  Refusing their interest, I cannot be trusted with it.

Based on a True Story.

This is based on a true story.  Everything you see has some basis in truth.  The sun is shining.  I am in bed.  Over looking the Pacific. Getting older, a performance artist.  A sober man.

Not dead yet.  I wondered who would love me and the love (when it comes) comes from the most unlikely source.

Last night we sat in the Chateau Marmont with a professional gambler.  We ate pumpkin pie.  We drank hot chocolate.  Vincent arrived with two beautiful Swedish boys.  I was in bed before 12.

The fridge groaning with left over Thanksgiving food whilst the starving homeless roam the streets like so many tatty zombies.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,237 other followers